Travels Through North America, during the years 1825 and 1826

By His Highness,
Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar Eisenach

Bethlehem is very handsomely situated, partly in a valley, and partly on a hill near the river Lehigh, into which empties the Manokesy brook. Very near the town there is a wooden bridge over the river, which was built in the year 1791, and rests upon three stone pillars, and over the brook there is a newly-built stone bridge of two arches. The moment you behold Bethlehem, you are pleased with it: opposite the town, on the right bank of the Lehigh, are rather high mountains, overgrown with wood. The brick houses of the town are situated amphitheatrically ; above all the houses, you see the church with a small steeple, and the whole is crowned by the burying-place, which lies upon a hill, and is planted with lombardy poplars. The fields around the town are excellently cultivated, and the landscape is bounded by the Blue Mountains, eighteen miles distant, a long range of mountains with no one distinct summit, but with some openings through. The streets in Bethlehem are not paved, but planted with poplars, and provided with broad brick side-walks; the houses arc built either of blue limestone or of brick. The greatest building in this town, which formerly served as the house for the brethren, is now occupied as a young ladies boarding-school. There is also here an arched market-place, where butcher's meat is sold. On the place where Bishop's tavern now stands, not long ago stood a little frame building, which was built at the time Bethlehem was founded by Count Zinzendorf. The town has about seven hundred inhabitants, mostly tradesmen and merchants. The clergy consists of Bishop Huffel and the two preachers, Messrs. Seidel and von Schweinitz; the latter is the great grandson of Count Zinzendorf, he was just absent on a voyage to Germany, where he met the general synod in Herrenhut.

One of the Messrs. Rice introduced me into the tavern, and gave notice to the clergy of my arrival; shortly after, I received a visit from Mr. Seidel, a Saxon by birth, who has resided nineteen years in the United States. I found him a very friendly and pleasant gentleman, and had a long conversation with him. I also met with an old man from Eisenach, by the name of Stickel, who came to this country as a surgeon with the Hessians, and for some years past had taken up his residence in this tavern, where he acts as cicerone to the strangers.



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